Geog 207/Coms 120

Climate Quest

Syllabus and Schedule

Morning session information:
Dr. Dorothy Freidel, Professor, Department of Geography and Global Studies, Sonoma State University
Office: 3057 Stevenson Hall
Phone: (707) 5664-2314 office; (707) 664-3332 fax

Afternoon session information:
Instructor: David Benin, Visiting Assistant Professor

General Information for Students:
This course is a whirlwind ride through the basic science and policy issues of global warming as we understand it today. This topic is very rapidly changing, especially now that the citizens of the world have begun to take notice of the problem and potential solutions. By the end of these two weeks you should be able to discuss the basic science on the questions of (1) what is causing global warming, (2) what evidence scientists have gathered on the degree and rate of global warming, and (3) their projections for how the environment will change depending on how humanity responds to the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. You will also have basic familiarity with local, state, national, and internation efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, as well as grassroots efforts in Sonoma County to the same effect. In addition, you will have learned the basics on how to create your own video presentation to share what you have learned with other young people in your community and beyond.

Climate Quest at Sonoma State is part of a three-university pilot program for high school students coordinated by Robert Aglow and developed here at SSU by the Climate Protection Campaign. The two other participating universities this summer are Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA and American University in Washington, D.C. Climate Quest at SSU was developed as part of the Cool Schools Program by Jessica Kellett , Coordinator, and Director Ann Hancock of the Climate Protection Campaign. It is hoped that this program will be so compelling and successful that it will spread to many other universities in the next few years and will help launch a strong environmental activist network among young people throughout the United States and beyond to turn our spaceship earth back in a healthy direction.

Internet Access Is Essential. A great many resources on global change exist on the internet, and this class will take advantage of some of these. The major reading assignments will be obtained on line. The course web page includes this course schedule, exercises, links to resources, and study guides for the quizzes. We will also create a class listserv (email) for students and instructors to communicate easily with each other at . Therefore, all students in the class need internet access and an email account. You must also check your email on a regular (daily) basis.

Reading Assignments:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Working Group I Summary for Policymakers, The Physical Basis of Climate Change
Working Group II Summary for Policymakers, Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
We'll also take a look at:
Working Group III Summary for Policymakers, Mitigation of Climate Change

There are quite a few technical terms even in these summaries for non-scientists, so I recommend the use of one of the various on-line glossaries for the definitions of unfamiliar words.

EPA Climate Change Glossary
Pew Center for Global Climate Change

Lenntech Glossary

Grades will be based on a combination of

Morning Science/Policy Section 50%
Two short Quizzes on Science, 10% each
One Final Quiz on Science, 20%
Participation in Morning Session, Readings, etc. 10%

Afternoon Video Section 50%

NOTE: If you find you're having difficulty with ANY part of this class, please do check with one of the instructors, talk with one of us during lunch break, email, or phone. Don't sit in silence, and don't wait until the end of the second week!

If you are a student with a disability and think you may need accommodations in this course, you must contact the Disabled Students Services located in Stevenson 1038 (664-2677).

  Morning Session: 10 AM - 12 PM Lunch Afternoon Session: 1 PM - 5 PM After Hours
Mon, July 9 Topic: Introduction
Presentation: Talking Climate Change
Guest Speaker:
Ann Hancock, Executive Director, Climate Protection Campaign
Filmmaking fundamentals 1  
Tues, July 10

Topic: What drives climate and what causes climates to vary
Lecture Notes

Filmmaking fundamentals 2  
Weds, July 11 Topic: Climate components and natural climate change
Lecture Notes
Field Trip 1 : Science and Ecosystems
Guest Speaker:
Ellie Cohen, Executive Director, Point Reyes Bird Observatory
Thurs, July 12

Topic: How do we know climate is changing and IPCC Report: evidence of a changing climate
Lecture notes


Field Trip 2 : Sonoma County's leadership in climate protection
Guest Speakers:
Vicki Vidak Martinez, Mayor, Rohnert Park,
Mike McGuire, Councilmember, Healdsburg

Fri, July 13 (SPECIAL 9:00-10:00 AM Class) Topic: Effects of climate change on human communities Off
Field Trip 3: Food, water & sustainability
Guest Speakers:
Brock Dolman, Director of the Water Institute, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center,
Hampton Davis, Davis Bynum Winery
Mon, July 16 Presentation:
California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and introduction to afternoon topics
Guest Speakers:
Joe Nation, Former CA Assemblyman,
Armando Navarro, Sonoma State Instructor
Field Trip 4: Transportation, energy and land use
Guest Speakers:
Armando Navarro, Sonoma State Instructor,
Alan Stratchan, Developer, Daisy Pistey Lyhne, Greenbelt Alliance,
Kelly Cowan, Windsor Structures
Tues, July 17 Topic: How much do we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
Presentation: Community Climate Action Plan for Sonoma County Guest Speakers:
Alden Felson, Project Manager, Climate Protection Campaign,
Dave Erickson, Technical Director, Climate Protection Campaign
Video Conference between Sonoma State University and Western Washington University Climate Quest classes; Panel: Youth Leadership Guest Speakers:
Joanne Panchana, Energy Action Coalition, Nina Rizo, Global Exchange, Christine Byrne, Cool Schools EDITING TIME
Weds, July 18 Topic: Options for mitigation and adaptation and international/ national efforts On
EDITING TIME 5:00-7:00 PM: Santa Rosa Downtown Market (optional)
Thurs, July 19 Review of course material
EDITING TIME Students may remain in editing room until 7:00 PM
Fri, July 20 Professor assessments, course evaluation and editing time On
EDITING TIME: complete films 7:30-9:30 PM: Final presentation - Public showing of films at Sonoma State University, Darwin Theater #102


Home ! Schedule ! Exercises ! Web Resources

Last updated 7/8/07